I found the ONE (for Italian Restaurants)

Parma by Chef Marc
7591 W Washington Ave #110
Las Vegas, NV 89128
(702) 233-6272
www.parmabychefmarc.com/

This is an Italian gem of a restaurant in Vegas. It’s like finding your perfect other half and wondering where they’ve been all my life? I felt the same with Chef Marc’s Pastavino Deli. I’m a Las Vegas native. Where have you been all my life?!

What brought us here was a recommendation by a friend of its fresh pastas. I was looking forward to just that. Chef Marc’s dishes lit up my senses from amazing flavors to textures and followed through from beginning to end. The ambiance is cute, romantic, homely (in a good way) with a touch of hole in the wall feel. The service was impeccable. Everyone on staff was super warm and friendly. The whole experience almost felt like eating at an Italian mama’s home kitchen. Oh yes, do listen to your server’s recommendation because our server Jason was on point with the recommendations.

The breakdown:
– Complimentary Fresh Garlic Bread – Warm. Toasty. Chewy. Crusty with tasty aroma of garlic and parm on top.
– Portabello mushroom appetizer (Strongly recommended by Jason) – This was everyone’s favorite of the evening. Warm sauteed strips of portabello mushrooms in a creamy sauce served over a bed of baby spinach. Don’t neglect the leftover sauce. Mop it up with the wonderful perfectly crusty garlic bread.
– Antipasto – Yummy cured meets tossed in with a variety of exotic cheeses, olives and greens. Can’t beat it.
– Caprese Salad Appetizer – The tomatoes were juicy. The large leaves of basil for fragrant and the fresh mozzarella perfectly chewy and gooey.
– Chicken Marsala – This was the sleeper hit. Usually not too impressed by chicken marsala, but this was a bite in heaven. The slight essence of barely cooked of wine took everyone by surprise in a very good way.
– Orcchiette with Meatball – the fun ear like pasta wheels were perfectly al dente, chewy and bouncy swimming around in thick red sauce with a huge meatball. This was a touch on the salty side for me, but the texture of the orchiette itself won handsdown.
– Agnoletti – This was another big winner! Tubes of fresh pasta filled with savory beef/lamb mixture with a rich creamy white sauce. Stick to your ribs good! Again, don’t forget to mop up the sauce with bread.
– Frutti de Mar – This was our last dish, filled with seafood goodies from clams to calamari to scallops. The spagetti was of course cooked well and the sauce mopped up to the last drop.

Bonuses: Extra exotic cheeses. Sliced uber tasty prosciutto on the house! Having a birthday boy on hand, they gave us some a bit of tart and sweet limoncello to toast!

Conclusion: It’s is a FIVER (beeps!) all the way. I thought about bringing the rating down one star for being a touch too salty on some items, but the overall experience was too fantastic. We left bellies full, wallets a little more empty and happily rolled our way home.

I was featured on this podcast about Parma!
Deli Counter Mystery Meet Podcast Guest

Brio!

Brio Tuscan Grille
6653 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89119
(702) 914-9145
www.brioitalian.com

Yet again, reviewing a chain. Disappointed in my non diverse culinary adventures of late, but a friend recommended that we try the food specifically for happy hour. Being that we never can make happy hour anyway, we decided to go for just deener.

1. Lobster bisque – creamier and less tangy taste compared to the tomato bisque with small bits of lobster
2. Tomato bisque – creamy, tangy and not too salty. yo quiero
3. Seasonal Bruschetta, the “PLT” – It’s too bad that this is seasonal or I’d probably get this type bruschetta each time. It consists of pancetta, lettuce and tomato. So you have the toasty crunch of the bread, the sweet tang of the sun dried tomato, the ooey gooey of the mozzarella, and a splash of basalmic vinegar and sprinkle of parm. wa la! masterpiece and texturegasm.
4. Shrimp and Scallop Linguini – I could tell the pasta was fresh and perfectly cooked, but I think this suits those of the salty faction. Very savory flavors.
5. The Chef’s special pasta and mussels – same to this dish. well cooked pasta but leans to the salty side.

"PLT" Seasonal Bruschetta by cravingsofafatgirl tomato bisque by cravingsofafatgirl scallop and shrimp linguini by cravingsofafatgirl the chef's special by cravingsofafatgirl

Conclusion: Commercialized, Americanized Italian food, but who’s says I can’t like that. It’s like how I still like McDonald’s so-called “fish” sammiches. I think I should stick with the original recommendation, however, and just go with happy hour. 2.5/5 Beeps

Delizioso!

Trattoria Reggiano
The Venetian
3355 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 369-2053
www.venetian.com/Pages.aspx?id=1399

Venetian is full of Italian restaurants, but this one stood out for us to try because it was small and intimate. It turned out to be a very enjoyable dining experience, a vegas-sized “street side” intimate dinner. We had simple pasta dishes cooked right and having reasonable prices made it even better. =) The waiter even had an Italian accent. cute! woot.

Featured in the pictures: Complimentary garlic bread rolls, calamari, Spagetti Agli e Olio, Shrimp Scampi
Garlic Bread Rolls Calamari Spagetti Agli e Olio Shrimp Scampi

Conclusion: Simple dishes for a decent price with a satisfied stomach.
p.s. We should have been smart like other couples and SPLIT ONE pasta dish, instead of being lil’ piggies and ordering one each. hahahhahaha

You had me at…. “what do you want?”

UPDATE: 07.21.2009 – After reading this review, it may be misleading that the food is good, but in so many words, I meant to say that this place has average Italian food but for a nice atmosphere. There ya go. =)

We walk into the doorway and we are in a holding tank of some sort. Look around to see a doorbell and go to push it, and all of a sudden we here a gruff Italian gangsta voice right behind us greet us. Then he asks us if we’re here with two others. Saying “yes,” he opens the main door and we enter into a dark restaurant set up which kind of reminds me of where the Godfather would eat on a late night in New York.

Capo’s Italian Cuisine
(702) 436-2276
5795 W Tropicana Ave
Las Vegas NV 89103

Service is great ‘cept for the lady who was in charge of clearing our plates seems overly zealous at her job. AND, of course, I wouldn’t be writing about this place if the food wasn’t worth it. We got the calamari (light, crunchy with tangy marinara sauce), caesar salad (standard and tasty), lasagna (super meaty. good but couldn’t eat too much of it), some sort of cleverly named seafood pasta (also, tasty but heavy), and MY FAVORITE of the night – classic spagetti and 1 ginormous meatball. The spagetti was al dente (which it should be in any respectable Italian restaurant) and sauce just right. yum yum! For dessert, we chose the tiramisu…. I haven’t had a good tiramisu in a long time. I find that some tiramisu’s can be too rich, but this one was just sweet enough and not too overwhelming with the creaminess and coffee taste.

Recommendations: Spagetti and Tiramisu.

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Massive FOod Blog!

ok peoples…. are you ready for this one? I visited socal this Labor Day Weekend because I totally missed the beach, and of course, all my favorite food! I didn’t hit up everything that I wanted, but this was a pretty good sampling. Yip!

Let’s go in chronological order as usualll. Many are revisited, but hey, if it’s good, why not drool over it, again?

Saturday Dinner
(310) 820-9787
12217 Santa Monica Blvd #201
Los Angeles CA 90025

Echigo – tried and true omakase that never let’s us down. Simple, fresh and absolutely delicious fish. We had extra uni and the crab hand roll as usual. and I’M TOTALLY DROOLING AS I TYPE THIS. omg…. *slurp!
White Fish Sashimi Toro Halibut Scallop Bonito Kanpachi Shimaji Japanese Red Snapper Uni Butter Fish Blue Crab Hand Roll

Sunday Breakfast
Haute Cakes Caffe – known for their cornmeal pancakes and huevos benedictos
(949) 642-4114
1807 Westcliff Drive
Newport Beach CA 92660

blueberry haute cakes got a nice gritty cornmeal consistency. not too sweet and yummy with the side of warm syrup.
huevos benedictos – i think i would have liked it better if the beans hadn’t leaked all over the place. i guess i just have to eat faster?
mexican scramble – our fav of the meal. guac, tomatoes, onions. cheese…. yummy!
forgot the name of this glorified ding dong – very rich and yummy and it tasted amazing because we were so hungry!
Haute Cakes Caffe Haute Cakes Caffe Haute Cakes Caffe Haute Cakes Caffe Haute Cakes Caffe Haute Cakes Caffe

Sunday Afternoon Snack
Ruby’s Shake Shack. long day at the beach? let’s have a yummy creamy shake!
(949) 464-0100
7408 Coast Highway
Newport Coast

Laguna Beach

Sunday Dinner
Laventina’s Big Cheese Pizza – just some simple pizza in newport. just good ol’ pizza. nuffin’ too special but it is in newport beach so you can take it and eat it on the beach! woot woot.
(949) 675-1980
2819 Newport Beach #B
Newport Beach CA 92663

Newport Beach

Monday Dinner
Corner Place – for korean bbq and dong chi mi gooksou (cold noodles!)
(213) 487-0968
2819 James M Wood Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90006

Oh so refreshing and tasty! chilled noodles in a flavorful chilled broth!
dong chi mi gooksou

Hot Tuesday Afternoon
Shau Mei – there are two locations that I know of – monterey park and rowland. here’s the rowland hgts addy.
18438 Colima Rd #1
Rowland Heights CA 91748

Fluffy shaved ice, with condensed milk drizzled on top – almond jelly, green bean, grass jelly and mochi. cold sweet refreshing goodness. i missed it so much i even started eating the melted juices!
Shaved Ice with condensed milk and grass jelly

Whew! I think that’s it! So much good food… makes me happy…. until next time!

Nora’s

So, this past week I visited both establishment’s of Nora’s – Nora’s Cuisine and Nora’s Wine Bar. One was a winner and one was a total disappointment.

We’ll start with Nora’s Cuisine. The first ever time I tasted Nora’s, *cheezy alert* it totally brought me back to my first night dinner in Venice, Italy. The pasta was perfectly al dente and the sauce was just “sweet” enough from the tomatoes and not too salty at all just like all the sauces I had in Italy… ahhh… BUUUUUUUTTTT. On my last couple visits to Nora’s, one at lunchtime and one at dinnertime, the food was disappointing. I no longer got the perfectly cooked pasta and the perfect sauce. A lot of the dishes were a little too salty. Mushy and salty is nooo goooood. Although, I must admit that the calamari has still lived up to expectation – the strips of tender squid fried to a golden brown, served with a tangy sauce. Now, that’s good calamari. None of these chewy nonsense with overpowering batter.

So, pictured is decent garlicky yummerific bread, perfect calamari, too salty Chicken Marsala, and overcooked pasta that went with the Marsala
Accompanying Pasta Chicken Marsala Garlic Bread Calamari

NOW, FOR NORA’S WINE BAR. This was an overall yummy experience! salad’s were fresh and tasty with the accompanying light dressing. ham was not too salty. all pasta’s were cooked al dente. pizza crusts were nice and chewy and had a robust bread flavor. overall winners of the night – capellini with tomato and basil and penne alla vodka just because they were so simple in sauce and ingredients, but so well cooked and full of flavor! This meal did not bring me back to Italy like my first ever experience at Nora’s Cuisine on Flamingo, but it was defnitely satisfying. =) Good atmosphere, decent food and good company. can’t go wrong with that!

Here’s what we ate: sorry for the overexposed pictures, my pookie will soon be back in my arms from repair, (nikon d60 status as of yesterday – “shipped”)
Antipasto
Caesar Salad
Roasted Tomato & Basil – Capellini
Penne alla Vodka
Wood-roasted Mushroom PIzza
Veal Loin Marsala
Crepe Lasagna
Pork Siciliana
Margherita PIzza

Nora's Wine Bar Nora's Wine Bar Nora's Wine Bar Nora's Wine Bar Nora's Wine Bar Nora's Wine Bar Nora's Wine Bar Nora's Wine Bar Nora's Wine Bar Nora's Wine Bar

p.s. warm chocolate cake is tasty too! very rich and (very) sweet, so good for those craving days …